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Rocky Alien Planets

Rocky Alien Planets May Contain Oceans

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A new study carried out by the Carnegie Institution for Science has found that all rocky planets develop oceans shortly after forming, suggested that planets hosting life may be much more common than initially realised. 

Analysis of ancient Earth rocks has shown that Earth had an ocean of water at least 4.4 billion years ago.  The study found that water on Earth came primarily from boiling out of the molten rock covering the newly formed planet, and not from comet impacts, as some researchers had previously believed.

Using computer models, the researchers have suggested that the same process applies to other newly formed terrestrial planets.  According to one of the researchers, Lindy Elkins-Tanton, "Habitability is going to be much more common than we had previously thought".

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